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FILE - In this April 14, 2018, file photo, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer watches the NCAA college football team's spring game in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State has made it through two games fine without Meyer. Now the No. 4 Buckeyes face their toughest test on the last Saturday before their suspended coach can return to the sideline. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File)

FILE - In this April 14, 2018, file photo, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer watches the NCAA college football team's spring game in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State has made it through two games fine without Meyer. Now the No. 4 Buckeyes face their toughest test on the last Saturday before their suspended coach can return to the sideline. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File)


FILE - In this Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, file photo, Ohio State's acting head coach Ryan Day directs warm-ups before an NCAA college football game against Oregon State in Columbus, Ohio. No. 15 TCU gets another chance for the Big 12 against No. 4 Ohio State. The Horned Frogs and Buckeyes will play Saturday night at the home stadium of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File)


FILE - In this June 7, 2013, file photo, former Ohio State University president Gordon Gee gives his retirement speech during a board of trustees meeting in Columbus, Ohio. A viral ‘Little Sisters’ comment by Gee nearly eight years ago led to this week’s Top 25 marquee matchup between Ohio State and TCU. The Horned Frogs are now one of the Power Five teams in the Big 12. Gee is now West Virginia’s president and chairman of the Big 12 board of directors. And the Bowl Championship Series has since been replaced by the four-team College Football Playoff. When No. 15 TCU plays No. 4 Ohio State on Saturday night, Sept. 15, 2018, Gee may even have a different rooting interest. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File)


No 4 Ohio State’s last game minus Meyer a test vs No 15 TCU

By STEPHEN HAWKINS

AP Sports Writer

Friday, September 14

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Ohio State has made it through two games fine without Urban Meyer. Now the No. 4 Buckeyes face their toughest test on the last Saturday before their suspended coach can return to the sideline.

No. 15 TCU (2-0) hasn’t faced a disruptive defensive front like Ohio State. But the Buckeyes (2-0), with their very accurate new starting quarterback Dwayne Haskins, also haven’t been challenged the way they will be by coach Gary Patterson’s 4-2-5 defense.

“They have all the answers. Any time a defense has been together that long, they have seen so many different things come their way,” Buckeyes acting head coach Ryan Day said. “They make quick adjustments. They know exactly how you’re trying to attack them.”

Four seasons after Ohio State jumped over Big 12 co-champions TCU and Baylor for the fourth and final spot in the inaugural College Football Playoff, the Horned Frogs get their shot against the Buckeyes in the same stadium where Meyer led them to a national title.

There has been a building buzz around the TCU campus, only about 20 minutes from AT&T Stadium, but the Frogs don’t need this as any kind of measuring stick.

TCU and Ohio State are among only five teams (Alabama, Clemson and Oklahoma are the others) who have finished in the Top 10 in the final AP poll at least three times in the past four years. The Frogs played in the Big 12 championship game last season.

“Everybody that you know of that’s come from this program has put TCU where we are, and I don’t think any specific game will let you know that we deserve to be at a certain place,” senior center Niko Small said. “I think we’ve already put the tradition in and everybody knows that TCU is going to play hard regardless of who we’re playing.”

Meyer will wrap up his three-game suspension for mismanaging domestic-abuse allegations and other misconduct by former assistant Zach Smith, though the head coach has been able to take part in Ohio State practices since after the season opener.

Another person who will be nowhere nearby Saturday night is Gordon Gee, the man who gets a lot of credit for this Top 25 matchup coming together.

Gee’s “Little Sisters of the Poor” remark as Ohio State’s president nearly eight years ago came before the Frogs finished their undefeated 2010 season with a Rose Bowl victory, and before they were in the Big 12. When the athletic directors from TCU and Ohio State were at the same meeting in early 2011, they went from chatting to deciding to play each other in the future.

“I was privileged to serve as president of The Ohio State University for 14 years and I love the Buckeyes! I am also now privileged to be in the Big 12 and serve as chairman of the conference, and I have great admiration for TCU and its football program,” said Gee, now president at West Virginia. “In deference to both teams, I will be watching the WVU women’s soccer game on Saturday.”

Some other things to know when Ohio State plays TCU for the first time since 1973, and first time ever away from Columbus, Ohio:

DISRUPTIVE BOSA

As expected, Ohio State’s All-American defensive end Nick Bosa has been hard to stop. He already has five tackles for loss and three sacks among his nine tackles in two games. Defensive coordinator Greg Schiano said Bosa is “playing at a very high level” even while teams use multiple players to try to slow him down. “We are going to have to be aware of that because I think it will get more and more creative every week because he is such a special player,” Schiano said.

SPECIAL SCORES

TCU has had punt returns for touchdowns in its past three games, by three different players. The Horned Frogs are the only FBS school since 1996 to do that. KaVontae Turpin had a 78-yard punt return for a TD last week against SMU. Turpin’s four career punt returns for a TD are a school record, as are his five special teams touchdowns.

CONTAINING ROBINSON

Containing TCUs dual-threat quarterback Shawn Robinson will be a different challenge for Ohio State. The sophomore passed for 146 yards, a touchdown and an interception, and also rushed for 67 yards and another score in TCU’s 42-12 rain-soaked win over SMU. Schiano said a running quarterback “changes all the math” because a defender has to account for him at all times.

BACK TO JERRY WORLD

Both teams played at AT&T Stadium last December: TCU lost to Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game, and Ohio State beat USC 24-7 in the Cotton Bowl. The Buckeyes’ only other game there was that CFP tile game in January 2015. TCU is 2-2 in the home stadium of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys.

AP Sports Writers Mitch Stacy in Columbus, Ohio, and John Raby in Charleston, West Virginia, contributed to this report.

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

The Conversation

What college rankings really measure – hint: It’s not quality or value

September 12, 2018

Author

Jonathan Wai

Assistant Professor of Education Policy and Psychology and Endowed Chair, University of Arkansas

Disclosure statement

Jonathan Wai does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

Each year various magazines and newspapers publish college rankings in an attempt to inform parents and prospective students which colleges are supposedly the best.

U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges” – perhaps the most influential of these rankings – first appeared in 1983. Since then, many other rankings have emerged, assessing colleges and universities on cost, the salaries of graduates and other factors.

For example, The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education recently released their new rankings, which judge colleges on things that range from how much graduates earn to the campus environment to how much students engaged with instructors.

But what, if anything, do all these college rankings really reveal about the quality and value of a particular college?

In order to provide a new perspective on rankings, my colleagues Matt I. Brown, Christopher F. Chabris and I decided to rank colleges according to the SAT or ACT scores of the students they admit. We approached this matter as researchers with backgrounds in education and psychology.

For our analysis, we took data from the 2014 U.S. News rankings and recorded the 25th and 75th percentile scores on the math and verbal subtests for 1,339 schools. We took all the ACT scores and converted them to SAT scores using a concordance table. Then, we simply ranked all the schools by this standardized test score metric.

Hierarchy of smarts

One thing we discovered is that schools higher up on the rankings generally admit students with higher SAT or ACT scores. In other words, what the rankings largely show is the caliber of the students that a given college admits – that is, if you accept the SAT as a valid measure of a student’s caliber. Though there is often public controversy over the value of standardized tests, research shows that these tests are quite robust measures to predict academic performance, career potential, creativity and job performance.

Critics of the SAT might say it actually tests for students’ wealth, not caliber. While it is true that wealthier parents tend to have students with higher test scores, it turns out the research robustly shows that test scores, even when you consider socioeconomic status, are predictive of later outcomes.

Our ranking also disproves the notion that the No. 1 school in the land is slightly better than the No. 2 school – and so on down the list. Rather it shows that the vast majority of schools admit students who earn a score between 900 and 1300 on the SAT – that is, on the combined scores on the SAT Math and Verbal. Greater variations in test scores appear in schools that admit students at the low and high end of the distribution – those students who earn below a 900 or above a 1300 on their SATs.

In particular, most of the variation occurs between “highly selective” and “elite” schools, between the scores of 1300 and 1600 in the illustration. Thus, test score rankings can mean different things depending upon which group of schools students and parents are considering. For example, if you are deciding whether to attend two different schools that fall into the vast middle range of scores where there is much more overlap, the ranking differences likely will not tell you very much.

To our knowledge, our graph represents the first illustration of how colleges and universities stack up against one another in terms of the SAT or ACT test scores of the students that end up on their campuses.

For instance, The Wall Street Journal-Times Higher Education rankings methodology does not include the SAT/ACT scores of students. The U.S. News rankings include SAT/ACT scores as part of their student selectivity portion, but these scores are weighted only about 8 percent in the total formula.

Different rankings, similar results

Our study also assessed the correlation — or how statistically similar — our test score rankings were compared to the U.S. News rankings themselves, as well as other rankings that are meant to assess entirely different dimensions of colleges and universities.

A correlation of 1 indicates a perfect relationship between two variables whereas a correlation of 0 indicates no relationship between two variables. We found across our analyses that test score rankings correlated between 0.659 to 0.890 with other rankings. This suggests the schools that end up at the top of the test score rankings also will end up at the top of these other rankings.

We first found high correlations between our test score rankings and U.S. News national university rank – 0.892 – and liberal arts college rank – 0.890 – even though U.S. News weights these scores only about 8 percent in their formula. Times Higher Education’s U.S. school ranking was correlated 0.787 with SAT and ACT scores and Times Higher Education’s full international school ranking was correlated 0.659. This suggests that the SAT/ACT rankings could function as a common factor that connects all rankings.

But what about other types of rankings that were formulated in very different ways for different purposes?

When we examined the correlation between our test score ranking and a “revealed preference ranking,” which was based on the colleges students prefer when they can choose among them, we found these rankings to be highly related at 0.757.

When we compared the test score rankings to a novel set of rankings created by Lumosity, the creator of “brain games” meant to boost cognitive functioning, we found that ranking to be highly related to SAT/ACT scores as well – at 0.794.

Finally, we examined a “critical thinking” measure – the CLA+ – intended to assess critical thinking among freshman college students. We again found this to be highly related to the test score rankings – at 0.846.

A question of usefulness

The similarities in rankings raises the important issue of what all these rankings actually measure. Do they really measure the value that a college adds to a student’s life? Or are they largely a function of student test scores, which reflects student characteristics and educational development, among other aspects, such as reasoning abilities.

Considering the correlation between SAT scores and college rankings, is it fair for a school to say a parent is getting a good “return on investment” for the tuition they pay? Since student characteristics – as indicated by test scores – are so highly correlated with the rankings, we argue that student characteristics should be considered as inputs when evaluating any outputs of a school. This is because schools that admit students who score well on the SAT or ACT will also have successful graduates based on the research that shows standardized tests alone predict many long-term outcomes.

Schools may want to take as much credit as they can for the education and opportunities they give students. But if a school enrolls the top students to begin with, it’s hardly surprising that such a school would end up on top in terms of other outcomes. A college’s success may be less about the quality of its instruction and more about the talent it can recruit.

Our shared reality is fraying

September 12, 2018

Author

Arie Kruglanski

Professor of Psychology, University of Maryland

Disclosure statement

Arie Kruglanski does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

The concept of truth is under assault, but our troubles with truth aren’t exactly new.

What’s different is that in the past, debates about the status of truth primarily took place in intellectual cafes and academic symposia among philosophers. These days, uncertainty about what to believe is endemic – a pervasive feature of everyday life for everyday people.

“Truth isn’t truth” – Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s lawyer, famously said in August. His statement wasn’t as paradoxical as it might have appeared. It means that our beliefs, what we hold as true, are ultimately unprovable, rather than objectively verifiable.

Many philosophers would agree. Nevertheless, voluminous research in psychology, my own field of study, has shown that the idea of truth is key to humans interacting normally with the world and other people in it. Humans need to believe that there is truth in order to maintain relationships, institutions and society.

Truth’s indispensability

Beliefs about what is true are typically shared by others in one’s society: fellow members of one’s culture, one’s nation or one’s profession.

Psychological research in a forthcoming book by Tory Higgins, “Shared Reality: What Makes Us Strong and Tears Us Apart,” attests that shared beliefs help us collectively understand how the world works and provide a moral compass for living in it together.

Cue our current crisis of confidence.

Distrust of the U.S. government, which has been growing since the 1960s, has spread to nearly all other societal institutions, even those once held as beyond reproach.

From the media to the medical and scientific communities to the Catholic Church, there is a gnawing sense that none of the once hallowed information sources can be trusted.

When we can no longer make sense of the world together, a crippling insecurity ensues. The internet inundates us with a barrage of conflicting advice about nutrition, exercise, religion, politics and sex. People develop anxiety and confusion about their purpose and direction.

In the extreme, a lost sense of reality is a defining feature of psychosis, a major mental illness.

A society that has lost its shared reality is also unwell. In the past, people turned to widely respected societal institutions for information: the government, major news outlets, trusted communicators like Walter Cronkite, David Brinkley or Edward R. Murrow. Those days are gone, alas. Now, just about every source is suspect of bias and serving interests other than the truth. In consequence, people increasingly believe what they wish to believe, or what they find pleasing and reassuring.

In the quest to restore peace of mind, people scramble for alternative sources of certainty. Typically this means narrowing one’s circle of confidants to one’s tribe, one’s side of the aisle, one’s ethnicity or one’s religion.

For example, in his monumental work on the “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” Edward Gibbon, the British historian recounts how the shattering of the Roman common worldview facilitated the emergence of a host of alternative religions – including Christianity, which finally prevailed over other faiths and belief systems that also sprung up at that time.

Then, as now, the fraying of our shared reality portends a fragmentation of society, an unbridgeable polarization in which distrust reigns, outsiders are demonized and collective action to address problems comes to a standstill.

Back to a shared reality

Philosophers in the 20th century, known as part of a “post-modernist” movement in Western thought, eschewed the idea that objective truth is attainable.

That school of philosophy was critical of the modern notion that science, through its methods, is able to conclusively prove its claims and theories.

Instead, post-modernist authors stressed that human knowledge is ultimately subjective and relative rather than absolute. The post modernist movement ushered a sense of irreverence and freedom into culture and society. It stressed alternative ways of knowing through feeling and image thus impacting the communication industry and encouraging imagination.

Even major defenders of science like Karl Popper maintained that truth is but a guiding ideal for scientific inquiry that can never be realized or proven for certain. Thomas Kuhn believed likewise. What these philosophers perhaps did not anticipate is what would happen to societies if skepticism and relativity – unconstrained belief systems in which nearly anything can be sustained – became widespread.

How can this dynamic be reversed?

Rebuilding a sense of shared reality among different segments of our society isn’t going to be easy, especially as it seems forces such as politicians and Russian trolls are working towards just the opposite goal. Also, deeply committed advocates and true believers from both sides are making it difficult for to rebuild that invaluable common ground that shared reality rests upon.

Psychological research suggests that such an about-face would require a willingness to “unfreeze” our entrenched positions that demonize the opinions of others, and often are based on narrow interests of one’s tribe or class.

In a forthcoming book I’m co-authoring with colleagues, “Radicals’ Journey: German Neo-Nazis’ Voyage to the Fringe and Back,” we tell the story of an arson attack against a synagogue in the German city of Düsseldorf in 2000. The German chancellor at the time, Gerhard Schröder, issued a public call for a “rebellion of the decent.”

It was a call to find a way to coalesce around common values and listen to each other’s concerns; to find forgiveness instead of rejoicing at each other’s misfortunes and mistakes.

Schröder’s plea triggered one of the largest funding schemes for counter violent extremism programs on the federal, state and community levels across all of Germany. It mobilized the entire German nation to stand together against the forces of divisiveness.

Wisdom from the field of psychology hails Schröder’s advice. The alternative to finding our lost common ground may be our self-destruction as a community and as a nation.

‘Treason’ is now a popular word – here’s what it really means

September 11, 2018

Author

Robert A. Sedler

Distinguished Professor of Law, Wayne State University

Disclosure statement

Robert A. Sedler does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

Partners

Wayne State University provides funding as a member of The Conversation US.

In the furor over the anonymous New York Times op-ed by a Trump administration “senior official,” the word “treason” has been used by a variety of people.

President Trump tweeted “TREASON?” in an apparent reference to the op-ed’s author. Trump’s supporters have likewise used the word in attacks on the author – and the newspaper for printing it.

Trump’s opponents have likewise bandied the word about by saying that the op-ed was not “treasonous.” Instead, they say that Trump himself is guilty of “treason” by trying to obstruct the investigation into the claimed Russian interference in the 2016 election. Earlier this year, Trump opponents also claimed he committed treason at his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

As a constitutional scholar, I’d like to remind people there is a precise definition of “treason” set forth in the Constitution. None of the recent charges of treason remotely fit that definition. The claims that one side or the other have committed treason are ignorant of the law.

Nothing worse

Treason is the only crime specifically defined in the Constitution. It is a heinous crime, the worst crime that can be committed by an American citizen. It is a betrayal of the nation and of values embodied in the American constitutional system.

It can be punished by death.

When the framers defined “treason” in Article III, Section 3, they were determined to avoid the use of “treason” as it had been used in English law to punish opponents of the king.

In English law, “treason” meant acts of disloyalty to the king. A person convicted of “treason” was not only executed, but all of his property was “attained” – or confiscated by the government.

This was not the way the crime of treason would operate in the United States, which was founded by those who had rebelled against the British king. The framers of the constitution made sure of that.

Here’s how the framers defined treason:

“Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.”

So, the crime of treason can only be committed by an American citizen during time of war with a foreign enemy.

The last convictions for treason took place in the wake of World War II. They included the conviction of an American citizen known as “Axis Sally” for broadcasting demoralizing propaganda to Allied forces in Europe from a radio station in Germany during World War II.

The constitutional provision also imposes stringent requirements for a conviction of treason:

“No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.”

By requiring this type of direct evidence, the framers minimized the danger of an innocent person being convicted, and prevented the possibility of a charge of treason being brought by a single person.

Third, there can be no punishment of anyone other than the person convicted of treason:

“The Congress shall have the Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.”

Ignoring the US Constitution

Let’s review. In the American constitutional system, the crime of treason is specifically defined in the Constitution to be limited to acts aiding the enemy in time of war. It can only be proven by the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act. And the punishment cannot extend beyond the person convicted of treason.

For anyone from the president on down to accuse any person of “treason” for any other action – no matter how egregious and no matter how harmful to the interests of the United States that action may be – is just plain wrong.

Worse yet, it flagrantly ignores what the framers were trying to accomplish with their narrow and precise definition of treason and the safeguards surrounding any conviction for that crime.

The Constitution means what it says. Nothing else can be treason.

FILE – In this April 14, 2018, file photo, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer watches the NCAA college football team’s spring game in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State has made it through two games fine without Meyer. Now the No. 4 Buckeyes face their toughest test on the last Saturday before their suspended coach can return to the sideline. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File)
https://www.sunburynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/48/2018/09/web1_121361683-09956d5b2e96479da235e9d9d2351073.jpgFILE – In this April 14, 2018, file photo, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer watches the NCAA college football team’s spring game in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State has made it through two games fine without Meyer. Now the No. 4 Buckeyes face their toughest test on the last Saturday before their suspended coach can return to the sideline. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File)

FILE – In this Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, file photo, Ohio State’s acting head coach Ryan Day directs warm-ups before an NCAA college football game against Oregon State in Columbus, Ohio. No. 15 TCU gets another chance for the Big 12 against No. 4 Ohio State. The Horned Frogs and Buckeyes will play Saturday night at the home stadium of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File)
https://www.sunburynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/48/2018/09/web1_121361683-78aca59e8cb74528aa41063920741844.jpgFILE – In this Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, file photo, Ohio State’s acting head coach Ryan Day directs warm-ups before an NCAA college football game against Oregon State in Columbus, Ohio. No. 15 TCU gets another chance for the Big 12 against No. 4 Ohio State. The Horned Frogs and Buckeyes will play Saturday night at the home stadium of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File)

FILE – In this June 7, 2013, file photo, former Ohio State University president Gordon Gee gives his retirement speech during a board of trustees meeting in Columbus, Ohio. A viral ‘Little Sisters’ comment by Gee nearly eight years ago led to this week’s Top 25 marquee matchup between Ohio State and TCU. The Horned Frogs are now one of the Power Five teams in the Big 12. Gee is now West Virginia’s president and chairman of the Big 12 board of directors. And the Bowl Championship Series has since been replaced by the four-team College Football Playoff. When No. 15 TCU plays No. 4 Ohio State on Saturday night, Sept. 15, 2018, Gee may even have a different rooting interest. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File)
https://www.sunburynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/48/2018/09/web1_121361683-a8b457854a78429d8cd930451724fc48.jpgFILE – In this June 7, 2013, file photo, former Ohio State University president Gordon Gee gives his retirement speech during a board of trustees meeting in Columbus, Ohio. A viral ‘Little Sisters’ comment by Gee nearly eight years ago led to this week’s Top 25 marquee matchup between Ohio State and TCU. The Horned Frogs are now one of the Power Five teams in the Big 12. Gee is now West Virginia’s president and chairman of the Big 12 board of directors. And the Bowl Championship Series has since been replaced by the four-team College Football Playoff. When No. 15 TCU plays No. 4 Ohio State on Saturday night, Sept. 15, 2018, Gee may even have a different rooting interest. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File)

Staff & Wire Reports